ANSAR M BHATTI
ISLAMABAD, JUL 17 (DNA) –High Commissioner of Malaysia Ikram Mohamed Ibrahim has said Pakistan has made significant strides in combating terrorism towards achieving durable peace and security in the country.“While the terrorism threats have indeed significantly been reduced, we commend the Pakistani security agencies for remaining vigilant to prevent any possible terrorist attacks”.The Malaysian high commissioner said this in an interview with DNA.
He further said, addressing the root causes of terrorism is indispensable and, in this regard, intra-regional cooperation remains a key component and should continue to be pursued.
Malaysia too had to overcome acts and threats of terror by the Communists from 1948 until 1989.
The four-decade Malaysian experience in combating and eventually eliminating terrorism had shown that a military approach alone was insufficient.
The soft approach of winning the hearts and minds of the populace concerned as well as close collaboration with our immediate neighbouring countries were pivotal in that regard, he added.
While talking about various visa regime the high commissioner said, recently introduced visa regime of Pakistan is a welcome move and signifies a fresh posturing by Pakistan in its renewed desire to encourage greater people-to-people interaction.
‘Seeing is believing’ and this new regime has certainly eased and facilitated the travel of foreign businessmen and investors to Pakistan to explore its great economic and trade potential, as well as for foreign tourists to enjoy the numerous places of interest and unique experiences that Pakistan offers.
He said, the immediate positive results of the new visa regime could only be measured once the official figures and statistics on foreign investment and tourist arrivals for the Financial Year 2018-2019 are published.
The high commissioner said Malaysian companies have been investing steadily in Pakistan since the late 1970s in the areas of energy, food production, infrastructure, property development, and telecommunications.
For the past four decades, Pakistan has remained one of the favourite investment destinations in the region for Malaysian companies.
For the Financial Year 2017-2018, Malaysia was the third largest Foreign Investor (totalling USD94 million, after China and the United Kingdom) in Pakistan. Malaysia is confident that its investment will again record an encouraging figure during the current FY2018-2019.
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The edotco Group operates and manages a regional portfolio of approximately 30,000 towers across core markets of Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
To a question about Malaysia success story especially in the fields of trade and economy, the high commissioner said, “In essence, Malaysia owes its success in its almost four-de industrialisation journey primarily to its ability to attract and retain high value foreign investments, incentivising domestic enterprises to compete in the global market, venturing into and capturing new markets, adaptiveness to advancement in science and technology, and continuous investment in further improving the Malaysian ‘brand’.”
Although Malaysia has done remarkably well in economic growth, poverty alleviation remains a main concern for the Malaysian Government.
Several comprehensive short-, medium- and long-term policies, strategies and programmes– embodying the philosophy of economic development with equitable distribution and poverty reduction – have been formulated and implemented in this regard, primarily through the New Economic Policy (1971-1990), National Development Policy (1991-2000) and National Vision Policy (2001-2020).
He said, these policies sought to create the enabling environment for sustainable socio-economic growth through employment and capacity building, education and human capital development, healthcare and social welfare, and other incentives for the bottom 40% (B40) households, especially the rural population, with a view to attain a balanced development and to create a more united and just society. Currently, 0.6% of the Malaysian population of 30 million is living below the national poverty line, designating Malaysia as an almost poverty-free nation.=DNA